Inn Way to the North York Moors
The Inn Way to the North York Moors is an 89 mile circular walk with an itinerary comprising six days of glorious walking plus the additional attraction of plenty of excellent food and drink at lunchtime and at the end of each day. The route has been devised not only to take in the best of the North York Moors landscape, but to steer you to inns and pubs with the emphasis on good quality food and a traditional character with warmth and charm. It's the perfect rambler's pub crawl. During your journey through this wonderful moorland landscape of heather-clad ridges and green, wooded valleys, you will pass no less than 31 traditional English pubs. We would recommend that you do actually pass by some of them!
The walk starts at Helmsley, a busy small market town on the River Rye with good facilities and public transport links. Nestling at the edge of the North York Moors National Park the town is a popular tourist destination with its romantic ruined castle and close proximity to the magnificent Rievaulx Abbey. The circuit from Helmsley is anti-clockwise, the Way making its way to Hutton-le-Hole for the first overnight stop. This has to be one of the prettiest villages in Yorkshire with its quaint stone cottages set around a village green. The interesting Ryedale Folk Museum facing the green is well worth a visit. This first day's walk is predominantly along field paths and forest tracks near Kirkdale. Highlights are the Vale of Pickering and Kirkdale's Saxon Minster, plus the pubs of course, including a thatched inn.
Day two takes the Inn Way to Levisham along clear paths through woodland and along enclosed green lanes and quiet country lanes. There are extensive views across the moors from several points along the route. Levisham is a refined village of mellow stone houses and farms facing onto a long green than runs the length of the village. Leaving Levisham the Way heads for Egton Bridge and the walking is a little more adventurous with moorland paths running close to the edge of sheer rock faces at Huggitt's Scar, Yewtree Scar and Killing Nab Scar. There is also a steep climb, but the reward of breath taking views over expansive heather moorland is worth the effort. Egton Bridge lies in delightful Esk Dale and is another well-maintained and pretty village in an idyllic setting by the River Esk.
Day three heads for Rosedale Abbey along a route that includes sections through Arncliffe Wood and across Glaisedale Moor on old 'trods', centuries old walkways paved with stone blocks. Approaching Rosedale the Way traverses high remote moorland which can often be boggy underfoot, before descending steeply to Rosedale Abbey. From here the Way crosses five heather clad ridges, Blakey Ridge, Rudland Rigg, Bransdale Ridge, Bilsdale East Moor and Easterside Hill. An additional feature of this walk to Hawnby is the secluded valleys that provide such a contrast to the ridges. Hawnby nestles between the hills in Rye Dale on the upper reaches of the River Rye, a smallish village of honey coloured stone cottages. There is an interesting little Norman church just west of the village along a leafy lane which leads to Arden Hall.
The final day of the walk leads back to Helmsley following well defined stony and grassy tracks and meadow paths. The climb from Arden Hall offers wonderful views of Thorodale, Ryedale and the Tabular Hills through the trees. The extensive views from Boltby Scar across the Vale of York towards the Pennines are a highlight of this walk and the majestic ruin of Rievaulx Abbey provides a fitting climax to the Inn Way.
This long distance route is the personal creation of the guidebook author, Mark Reid and he will keep you entertained, informed and enthralled throughout the journey with his enthusiastic and scholarly narrative.
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